Vitamin E Myths Busted: The Surprising Health Truths You Need to Know

You’ve probably heard about the famous 2005 study published in Annals of Internal Medicine which claimed that vitamin E supplementation increases your chance of death from any cause. The media jumped on the story and reported it far and wide. But, did you know that there were three significant problems with that study and all studies on vitamin E before 2006?

Firstly, the study only tested synthetic vitamin E, which is less effective than the natural form. Secondly, the high-dose trials were very small, almost too few participants to get a scientifically valid result. Finally, all of the people in the studies who received higher doses of vitamin E already had chronic diseases. In fact, the people with no disease didn’t even get that much vitamin E and yet they had a 16 percent lower risk of death. This is the real news!

Since then, we have discovered even more of the truth about the benefits of vitamin E for your health, with important and exciting new information you really should know.

What Vitamin E Does For You

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for the proper function of many organs in your body. It is the most basic chain-breaking antioxidant in our bodies, meaning it slows down processes of cell damage. Vitamin E is naturally found in a number of vegetable oils, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and certain nuts and grains. While true vitamin E deficiency is rare if you are consuming these foods and can digest and absorb fats, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting enough for optimal health. In fact, the opposite might be true.

Low Vitamin E Associated With Illnesses

Research on the benefits of vitamin E has shown that low vitamin E increases the risk of a number of illnesses, including heart disease, cancers, cataracts, Parkinson’s disease, and even skin diseases. This is due to its proven anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

For example, Vitamin E has been found to lower LDL cholesterol, reduce clotting, prevent smooth muscle thickening, and help keep your heart vessels open, thereby lowering risks of heart disease. Retrospective studies, such as the famous Nurses’ Health Study, showed significant reductions of heart attack rates in those who supplemented with vitamin E.

Vitamin E has also proven effective against certain cancers. A study reported that breast cancer was lowered by 60% in women who got high vitamin E from food. Moreover, a 1996 Finnish study in men showed that those with low vitamin E levels had nearly four times more risk of cataracts than men taking the highest vitamin E supplementation.

In the case of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s, high vitamin E intake has been found to result in a significant reduction of symptom severity and risk of developing the disease.

However, at high doses of more than 1,500 international units (IU) of vitamin E per day, your blood may become thinner due to the associated risk of vitamin K deficiency, which is required for blood clotting. This effect likely explains the increased risk of bleeding stroke seen in large studies of vitamin E supplementation in elderly patients.

In summary, low levels of vitamin E contribute to illness, and getting the correct amount of the right type of vitamin E is essential for a healthy, balanced body. But what is the best kind of vitamin E to get, where do you get it from, and how much do you need?

The Best Kind of Vitamin E to Get

In order to answer this question, it’s important to understand the different types of vitamin E. The synthetic “all-rac-alpha tocopherol acetate” used in most of the studies is the lab-created form of only one of the eight forms of vitamin E, all of which are important for health.

Instead, you should aim to get natural vitamin E from your diet, with optimal sources including a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and animal products like meat, poultry, and eggs. In addition, there are specific types of vitamin E supplements available which may further complement your intake.

So, don’t be misguided by outdated and limited information about vitamin E. By consuming the right kind of vitamin E in appropriate amounts, you’ll be doing your body a great favor in preventing and potentially even combating various illnesses. The truth about the benefits of vitamin E has been revealed, and now it’s up to you to put that knowledge into practice for a healthier life.